Where can GPs access help and support if they are struggling to cope?

GPonline provides a list of organisations that can help GPs who are dealing with stress, burnout and other mental health issues and financial problems.

Helplines and professional support

The NHS GP Health Service
The national confidential NHS service for GPs and GP trainees in England. The GP Health Service can help doctors with issues relating to a mental health concern, including stress or depression, or an addiction problem, in particular where these might affect work. Access the service by emailing gp.health@nhs.net or by calling 0300 0303 300. The service is available 8am–8pm Monday–Friday and 8am–2pm Saturday.

BMA Wellbeing Support Services
BMA Wellbeing Support Services (formerly BMA Counselling and Doctors Advisor Service) has a counselling service staffed by professional telephone counsellors 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Counsellors are all members of the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy and are bound by strict codes of confidentiality and ethical practice. There is also a peer support service giving doctors and medical students in distress or difficulty the choice of speaking in confidence to another doctor who has experience of supporting colleagues. Call 0330 123 1245.

Sick Doctors Trust
Provides support and help for doctors, dentists and medical students who are concerned about their use of drugs or alcohol. A confidential helpline is available 24 hours a day on 0370 444 5163.

DOCHealth
DocHealth is a confidential, not-for-profit service giving doctors an opportunity to explore difficulties, both professional and personal, with senior clinicians. It is supported by the British Medical Association (BMA) and the Royal Medical Benevolent Fund (RMBF). Call 0207 383 6533 for more information.

Health for Health Professionals
A face-to-face counselling service for all doctors in Wales. Call 0800 058 2738 between 9am and 5pm Monday to Friday or visit the website (link above) for more information and out of hours support

Peer support groups

Doctors’ Support Network
A confidential, peer support group for doctors and medical students with mental health concerns including stress, burnout, anxiety, depression, bipolar disorder, psychoses and eating disorders. 

British Doctors and Dentists Group
A mutual help group for doctors and dentists who are recovering, or wish to recover, from addiction to or dependency on alcohol or other drugs.

The Doctors Support Group
The Doctors Support Group (DSG) aims to provide support and assistance to medical professionals or dentists facing suspension, exclusion, investigation of complaints and/or allegations of professional misconduct.

Financial help

The Cameron Fund
The only medical benevolent charity which solely supports GPs and their dependents, whether financial problems are due to ill-health, disability, death or loss of employment. This includes both those who are already suffering from financial hardship and those who are facing it. Telephone: 020 7388 0796.

Royal Medical Benevolent Fund
The RMBF provides support for doctors and their families through all stages of their career and beyond. Our help ranges from financial assistance in the form of grants and loans to a telephone befriending scheme for those who may be isolated and in need of support. Telephone: 0208 540 9194.

The Royal Medical Foundation
The Royal Medical Foundation aims to assist doctors and their families who are in financial hardship. Telephone: 01372 821010.

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